Emergency *ooof*: Sassy, Armitage?

[I should really get into the habit of posting this little warning at the start of each post: Mild RPF follows at the end of the analysis!]

Loud screams in the sacred silence of the early morning Guylty household today. The exact words cannot be repeated here, suffice to say there was a colourful variety of profanities to be heard in these otherwise clean environments, interspersed with giggles worthy of a madwoman. The reason? The emergence of a new photoshoot. I should have known, of course. Not only is the PRA (public relations Armitage) in the good habit of striking when the chicken coop is already all a-flutter, but we had actually discussed up-coming interviews on MorrighansMuse’s blog yesterday. Duh. I blame my lack of comprehension on the distracting glimpse of chest hair in one of the pics. Nonetheless, it took a couple of hours and a trip over to Getty Images to cop on that these were the images that had been mentioned in context with the New York Moves interview, and they have been taken by photographer Leslie Hassler.

An immediate urge to *ooof* took firm hold in my subconsciousness, and I was spurred on by a number of evil commentators, intent on dispensing with my sanity. Because, oh, I knew this was going to be deadly. Making the choice of which image to *ooof* was the first hurdle – but the trusty Army sent me help via a message from AwkwardCelebrityEncounters, demanding “sassy Armitage”. I oblige, but only because my reason has already vanished and I am mere putty in my fellow sisters-in-RA’s hands. Choosing an image is always hard for me. I just love ’em all – the man… eh… craft in them excites me because I know how hard it is to produce acceptable good images. My initial reaction to the location (outdoors) shots was stronger than that to the portraits in front of the neutral backdrop, and those will have to be *ooof*ed at a later stage. But here goes…


Is that a sassy twinkle in your eye, Armitage?
Portrait by Leslie Hassler/Contour Getty Images
Sourced via The Armitage Effect

The confusion continues. Not because Armitage has that sort of effect on those with a preference for tall, dark, stubbled, be-nape-curled men with open collars and cheeky twinkles in their eyes but because the portrait again blurs the line between fashion photography and (non-advertising) portraiture. Armitage is seen in a head and shoulders shot. He has angled his body at a 30 degrees angle, with his face turned towards the camera to half-profile. He appears to be formally dressed – white shirt, tie, waist coat – but has sleezily informally opened tie and collar. Pity he hasn’t turned around a bit more – we do not get the benefit of the chest hair *coughs*. With a neutral, grey background behind him, the viewers’ gaze is directed to the face of the sitter – nothing to distract the attention. The lighting is soft and from left above, leaving almost no shadow on the subject’s face, there is only the tiniest trace of the characteristic butterfly-shaped shadow under the nose to indicate that beauty lighting has been used in this shot. Thus we get to see the details – the pronounced stubble, the thick, wavy hair, the soft folds of the neck where it is turned towards the camera, the thin lips, firmly closed, the occasional grey hairs in the sideburn, the characteristic angle on the side of his brow, the long, straight nose, the catch light in his eyes and the pronounced laughter lines. Oh, were there clothes in this shot? I didn’t notice…

The power of this portrait lies in the eyes. They are clearly the focus of the image – hence my confusion re. fashion photography. If the clothes were in the centre of the shot, then why do we see so little of them? The facial expression adds to the confusion. The look in the sitter’s eyes is decidedly cheeky. With his head slightly cocked to his left and towards the camera, the sitter seems to be leaning in – in an almost familiar way. There is an air of intimacy in this shot. The sitter could be about to whisper to us what he is thinking, conspiratorily allowing us a glimpse of his mind. Boredom with what he doing right then, right there? Reluctantly following a direction given by the photographer? Impatience? I don’t think there is irony in this look. Armitage is doing his split face-thing again: The right eye is slightly narrowed, the gaze is intense, giving the impression of an appraising look. Simultaneously (and from our angle), the right corner of his mouth seems slightly down-turned. On the left side of his face, however, the mouth seems to curl into the vaguest of smiles. The left eye has not quite decided whether it is gazing intensely or smiling – the laughter lines indicate the latter, but if you look at the eye in isolation it does not appear particularly smily. How does he do that? The more I study that expression, the less I can identify what emotion it conveys. Is this really sass? Or something altogether different. Is Armitage so easy to look at because his face is a foil for what we *want* to see on it?

I am beginning to come to the conclusion that Armitage has perfected the “open interpretation gaze”. We can interpret anything we want into this: a titillating “come on” with the head tilted forward only to fly back with a Gisborne flick any second now. A beckoning smoulder, drawing us into his tentacled charm? A silent and yet telling expression of mystery – “Look at me as much as you like – you will never know what I think.” Nah, I prefer the first interpretation. This is where this image meets Servetus’ assertion (?) from her post a couple of days ago that we, the fans, imbue Armitage with the qualities we *want* him to have – for our own gratification, identification, admiration and self-exploration. – Is this a portrait shot then, which is defined as a photograph that depicts “a facet of the sitter’s personality”? The answer remains a mystery, like the man, as we cannot possibly know whether the seemingly sassy attitude is part of his personality – or merely grafted upon him by the viewer or the photographer. Maybe Hassler could give us an insight there, as she had to familiarise herself with him in order to bring out a facet of his personality. Was the shot a result of her directions (“And now try for a sassy look, Richard!”) or a split-second glimpse into RLRA? And if the latter, how did she get to prise the clam open? It’s all about establishing rapport. Maybe it went a bit like this:

When I opened the door, I looked straight at a broad chest. I had expected him, of course. This shoot had been organized months ago and I had done my homework. Richard Armitage. 42 years of age. Actor. Best known for his portrayal of the stern but passionate Mr Thornton in North & South, or for his love-struck and villainous Guy of Gisborne in Robin Hood. The fallen hero Lucas North. The unbeatable John Porter. And lately of Hobbit-fame. 6’2″. I had not realized how tall that was, hence my eyes settled on a wide, well-formed chest, clad in a black casual shirt before glancing up into light blue eyes that were now focussed on me with a friendly twinkle.

“Mr Armitage. Hello! Come in ! How are you?”

I was babbling, a reaction I am prone to when momentarily nervous. I had been looking forward to this shoot with excitement but also with trepidation. Armitage was my biggest catch yet for my project – and I was determined to do this shoot well and get something out of it besides my own artistic work. If I could get his agent to use my images, maybe more work would come out of it. This was to be a test of my professional abilities.

“Please, I am Richard”, he said and offered his hand for a cordial handshake. “Oh, and I am Sophya”, I answered while ushering him in. We walked through to the studio at the back of the house. “Would you like a cup of tea before we start or are you in a hurry?”

“Tea would be lovely”, he intoned with a warm baritone voice that was made even warmer by the smile that swung on his answer.

Dang, was that amusement on his voice? Had he detected how nervous I was? “Get a grip, woman, keep your cool”, I berated myself for my teenage-crush nervosity.

“No hurry. I have only the weekend scheduled after this.”

I busied myself in the corner of my studio that held a make-shift mini-kitchen. While the water was getting to boiling point in the kettle, I grabbed a couple of mugs and put the teabags into the pot. I poured the water into the pot and placed it with the mugs, sugar and milk and some bourbon cream biscuits on a tray.

When I turned around, Richard was standing in the middle of the studio, hands in his pockets, looking around at the gear. I placed the tray on a coffee table at the back of the studio where a sofa invited my clients to relax before a shoot.

“Damn, today it is me who needs to relax”, I thought to myself. “Here, make yourself comfortable, eh, Richard”, I beckoned him to sit down and join me. He came over, taking off his tight-fitting black jacket, carelessly throwing it on the sofa’s armrest.

“Ah, tea. Always makes you feel at home, doesn’t it?” He took the mug I had poured for him and added a generous dash of milk to it. Leaning back he glanced to the studio wall opposite him. “Your work?”

I nodded. I had some arty nudes in black frames on the wall, a previous project that was all about light and shade. “Niiiiiice.” He winked and sipped on his tea, finally giving me the opportunity to say something.

“Thanks for indulging me with this project, Richard. I really appreciate that you are giving me your time. I hope it’s not going to go over-time. We should be done in a couple of hours, give and take” and depending on our rapport, I added to myself. “You obviously have done many of these before and are used to being looked at through the big black eye”, I added. “So I’ll try to be pretty short and sweet.”

I felt his gaze intensely and appraisingly on my face. “Pretty, short and sweet, yeah…” he repeated.

All text Β© Guylty at me + richard armitage, 2013. Please credit when using excerpts and links. Images and video copyrights accrue to their owners.

~ by Guylty on November 15, 2013.

94 Responses to “Emergency *ooof*: Sassy, Armitage?”

  1. Oooooohhhh Guylty! You are a good woman! Now go to bed and let me see if I can manage to get to the words tonight…..(JK Mr. A, I’m ALL about the technical stuff she writes *wink*)

  2. I still think he’s channeling Sir Guy in this shot. He’s as mysterious as Mona Lisa, that one. Love the RPF!! “Pretty, short and sweet . . .” I can hear that baritone now. *sigh*
    I needed this. It was a rough rehearsal tonight. Not for me, really–we only ran through the first act (and I die near end of it) a couple of times but act two . . . either four or five. I lost count . . . I am a tad worried. Please let the dress rehearsal go well Monday! Or should I wish it to go badly?! Anyway–this is JUST the pic I would have chosen. Thank you!!

    • Yes, there is a Guy vibe in it… expecting the bangs to fall into his forehead any minute – and then to flick back with a “bed’s this way” smirk…
      Sorry to hear your rehearsal was a toughie. Well, better to run into difficulty in rehearsal than in show time. I hope for a complete catastrophe for your dress rehearsal – it’s supposed to be so, in order for the premiere to be a triumph.
      I sheepishly confess that this was *not* my favourite image. In fact this is the one that made me giggle every time I laid eyes on it. Silly, coquettish, slightly-embarrassed-spinster giggles. Not sure if that was the intended reaction for this shot, but there… Glad you like it, though. You can thank Abby πŸ™‚

  3. Very nice guylty in both areas. I agree perhaps that is it. A shot that allows the viewer to decide what they see. We all see something different in a photo anyway don’t we? I mean I look at a photo of myself and generally I simply don’t like it and someone else looks at it and says it is fine and someone else might think it is great and so on. Well here we are with Richard and it speaks to each of us in a different way and there is nothing wrong with that. Maybe it is sassy or maybe it is a come hither look to someone else or maybe it is some mystery. Whatever it is that is just fine. Only Richard knows what he was really thinking at that moment and my guess is that he’ll never tell.

    • I don’t mean that so much in terms of what he is thinking. Of course we will never know that. But I find it really hard to identify whether the expression is suggestive, happy, smily, self-ironic or sarcastic – or even whether it is a smile or not… Maybe I am overfamiliar with that face at this point. Sometimes you just can’t see the wood for the trees…

  4. CAUSE OF DEATH: RICHARD ARMITAGE’S SASS. Aided and abetted by Guylty’s timely OOOF (by request.)

    Well it wouldn’t be such a bad way to go….

    Thank you, Guylty, for taking my demand, I mean request, seriously and OOOFing Sassy McSassington here. I find myself wanting to read your interpretation of photoshoots whenever I see one, and this was Priority One the second I laid eyes on it! OOOF, indeed….

    I loved this line so much: “A beckoning smoulder, drawing us into his tentacled charm?” OH GURRRRRL, you have NO idea. (Actually, I think you do.)

    Stupid Question Time: When you say “left eye,” etc., do you mean HIS left eye, or the eye on the left side of the picture? Spatially, I’m kind of a spazz.

    THANK YOU!!!!!!!!

    • No, a big thank you back to you, Abs – I had such trouble deciding which one to do. I knew that the Army would want to see a in-studio close up, and that clashed with my own veering towards one of the outdoors shots. I was glad the decision was made for me πŸ˜€
      My “tentacled charm” line – have been reading too much fanfic lately πŸ˜‰
      And the question – I always describe the sides of his face/body from HIS point of view. So when I say “his left eye”, that is literally HIS left eye (the one which is pictured on the right when looking AT him). I know it is really confusing… I try to put the possessive pronoun in whenever possibly to make it clear πŸ™‚

  5. Thanks for picking the only shot in this series that I really liked — and I essentially agree with what you say here about the “open interpretation gaze” — similar to my earlier observation about my feeling that this was the only shot that had the “what happens next is open” vibe that I love so much, a particular kind of energy I felt missing in the other shots.

    Great writing!

    • I am going to say what I have alleged a few times before: I actually think his in-studio shots are *never* that great. He seems more comfortable when he is given context. I intend to write about that (ahem, I always say that…). This shot stood out and really “touched” me, in the Barthesian definition of the term. I felt he was looking at me, or that I was *there*. Hence my embarrassed giggling every time I laid eyes on that image today. Most studio shots (in front of neutral backdrops) do not have that “what’s gonna happen next” vibe, as you call it. They are too deliberately posed for that – the context shots are much better for that. Hence my preference for them.

  6. This is one of the best pictures I have seen of Richard Armitage. Where can we get one?

  7. Ooooooooh, and you did just the one I was hoping you would.

    Seriously, he can’t just aim that look at a camera and not expect casualties. I feel personally victimized by that sass.

    • The longer I looked at it, the less giggly but more personally affronted I felt *ggg*. Or maybe personally affected. It’s the tilt of the head that does it. (I should have written about that… damn… it’s mindblowing how different the effect is when the head is not tilted. Just tried it by straightening the image.)

  8. I just wanted to lick the computer screen since I couldn’t bite him. And since they have been showing up everywhere, I have seen him all day long. There is an very good possibility my husband will get lucky tonight….

    • Yep, wherever one looked yesterday, the pics kept coming up. I was majorly distracted, and my work did slow down considerably. Not sure if I am immune to it today. I better not look…

  9. I just thought he was flirting with the photographer! So many of these photos from this shoot are sort of challenging/inviting/amusement. I wish I knew what she said to him! LOL! Well done, guylty!

    • It’s all about the connection with the photographer. At least that’s what I believe in – and what I strive for in my practice. If you can establish some kind of rapport, the sitter will open up and feel confident – even to act out some suggestions. (PS: Hassler is a very attractive woman – an ex-model, actually!) Thanks for your comment, Marie πŸ™‚

  10. Great choice,love the tilt of the head and the enigmatic expression. Now that it has been established that we see what we want to see in him, I choose this… “Gee,Kath. Why didn’t you remindl me we have to go that award dinner tonight? Can’t they just mail it? I was just getting comfortable, and the Nobel prize for fan fic is no big deal. I’ve got plans. Pass me the corkscrew. and let me help you with that zipper”.

  11. He just looks like he knows that he just inspired naughty thoughts in our minds.

  12. OK, this is a serious inquiry: I keep trying to figure out why his eyes are so mesmerizing, and you, as an astute reader of faces, can help. This is what I have so far:
    – Deep-set, often shaded under perfectly-shaped brows.
    – White usually visible under the iris (I read somewhere that this is supposed to be a sexy thing)
    – The whites are whiter than most people’s, and often seem to glisten?
    – The under-pouches?
    – the pink coloration of upper and lower lids?
    – is the gaze more intense than most people’s?

    Inquiring minds want to know. . .

    • on the structure of Armitage’s eye brows and eyes, see



      in particular, the pronounced inferior palpebral sulcus makes him look much younger / childlike.

      On the whites, you can search the blog for discussion of sclera (whites).

    • Yep, Servetus has covered this extensively. My own thoughts to your specific questions:
      – I actually find deep-set eyes difficult to read because they are more shadowed by the brow than usual. But maybe that adds to the “mystery”?
      – Whites of the eyes: In portraiture those are very often edited in Photoshop! That was one of the first Photoshop actions I was taught in college, actually. So while that appeals and affects, bear in mind it is also artificially emphasised.
      – Underpouches might actually work against the “mesmerising effect” – could be interpreted as “late nights, unhealthy lifestyle”.
      – I don’t think his gaze is any more or less intense than anybody elses.
      For me the mesmerising effect mostly hits when the image has been properly focussed on the eyes and therefore are depicted crystal clear, and when the light is angled such a way that the blue colour is clearly visible. It also helps when he widens his eyes a tiny bit. I think we also take other parts of the face into account when we feel particularly mesmerised by a gaze – the set of the eyebrows, the tilt of the head, the position of the mouth. The whole thing works together imho.

      • For me, I think, it’s quite simply the slight tilt. There’s something, I don’t know, maybe impish or elf-like or in some way otherworldly about eyes that have the particular tilted shape his do, that makes me want to look closer and see what’s happening behind them.

      • I am unfamiliar with the term “under pouches”. In my world they are called bags and people pay lots of money to have them removed. Maybe it’s a matter of degree Richard has darling little chanel clutch bags while I have steamer trunks requiring a bellman’s assistance.

        • ROFL, Kathy! That’s quite a visual… And without having seen your bags for comparison, I will utter the unspeakable and say that the Armitage pouches do not look like dainty little purses to me but rather bigger. I’ve noticed them occasionally – the make-up artists really do a splendid job… Nothing wrong with them. Just saying.

          • I could keep the concealer industry profitable one-handed or should I say one-eyed. I, too have noticed them, they seem to come and go. I have a question.Does his ear look weird to you, or is it just me?

        • I don’t think underpouches, or anyway, what we’re looking at here, are the same as bags. Bags are deposits of fat under the eye,but they aren’t the fold in the lid. They’re in the same place as dark circles are and start under the fold.

  13. Pretty, short and sweet eh…? This sounds ok for me πŸ˜› Very nice ficlet Guylty.

    This emergency *ooof* must be very tiring… all the annoying part of watching these horrible new photos Mr. A . is giving us these days… it’s a though work, but it must be done πŸ˜‰
    As usual my tastes differ greatly from the rest of the RA fandom world. This is my least fave pic from the Hassler photoshoot. It always happens to me, so I’m used to consider myself the weirdest RArmy member here! I far prefer the one with grey jeans and plaid shirt in front of the shutter and the one with tartan green/blue jacket, face turned and… those eyes! That face! That expression, mixed of boyish look and mature man with those sprinkling eyes!
    ok, I’d probably need a psychologist here to understand why I always prefer different pics from the rest of you.
    That said, thank you as usual and try to recover yourself! oh, and be ready to what is going to happen to us next month πŸ˜‰

    • Oh yeah, it is a frustrating job, Micra. Particularly when an *ooof* is literally burning in my brain and I don’t have time to throw it out immediately. The job satisfaction, however, is great πŸ˜€
      Well, can I join you in the dunces’ corner of the fandom’s photo appreciation society? My favourite is not this one or any of the in-studio shots. I was most taken by – here comes the weirdo – the crouching shot outside. *shrugs* It’s all individual. It has to do with associations we make. I had to think of Ricky Deeming, for whom I have a soft spot, and that did it for me.
      Thanks for the recovery wishes. I think I already have. After the initial shock and exhaustion I usually feel exhilarated – so much so that I have already started on next week’s regular instalment πŸ˜‰
      As for ready for the onslaught? Not sure. I may have to exercise some self-control and simply avoid some platforms.

      • I feel less lonely now, thanks Guylty! πŸ˜€

        I have a soft spot for Ricky too… Ricky with the plaid shirt… oh, and Ricky on his bike has some “weird” effect on me. Love bikes. Love even bikes pants. Love Belstaff. Stop now Micra, stop NOW. πŸ˜›

        I don’t think I’m ready for December too, and I’d probably have to force myself out from some sites too. If I want to survive πŸ˜€ Sorry for the delayed reply

        • You and me, Micra, eh? Lumberjack Lovers of the world unite. Not a huge fan of bike(r)s, really, but Ricky is a free-thinking beat poet imho, smokes extremely sexily and is secure enough in his masculinity to allow ambiguity about his sexual orientation. Makes for a veeeeery interesting mixture. Plus: leather peaches *ggg*.
          We shall hold each other back from lurking around on all those sites… I will personally throw you out of tumblr if I find you there πŸ˜‰

      • wow, the one I posted as “funny”? Then again, I didn’t care for most of the Fault shots, either — which you loved.

        • No, you posted the leaning-against-the-garage mechanic. But yeah, same clothes. – I am not even talking about the quality of the photography here. It’s just the way he crouches, and the fact that I have not seen a pic like that before, and the face. It kind of touches something in me – but that does not mean that the picture is technically, artistically, realistically better…
          Fault – was great in terms of art. Technically she completely ruined the shots by re-photographing them and making them grainy and blurry and skippy. I love when photographers think outside the box, as Parrish did there. Or as in the Esquire shoot – obscured clothes in a fashion shoot *tsktsktsk*.

          • Huh. I thought Esquire ended up being way too much about the clothes and the trope of “man in suit” in super stereotypical ways that I could see in advertising anywhere. It seemed like hit you over the head advertising to me. I looked at those pics for about the amount of time I’d look at a men’s clothing ad, and then filed them. But I don’t want to hassle you with an OT opinion, that belongs in another strand πŸ™‚ I was way underwhelmed by both of these shoots. I hope we get something that speaks to me a little more from someone else in the next month.

            • The Esquire shoot was meant to be a fashion editorial. We knew that from external comments, and sure, the images do support the impression. And they were predictably posed, in a predictable location, on a predictably good-looking man πŸ˜€ No, I am referring to the fact that in some shots the clothes were so obscured by the pose or by the lack of light that it was impossible to discern them. (The fashion element on those pages was in the little text box, rather than the image itself.) And I liked that choice because it was slightly less about the clothes than about the man.
              Let’s see what will come up in the future. Are there any more shoots expected to come out or are we looking at event photography for the next while?

    • Who said you were the only one who preferred the flannel to other pictures? Give me a flannel man every time!

  14. I read this on my phone when I woke up (yes I have a problem) and I smiled through my morning chores. I hope Sophya recovered enough to suggest discussing the photos over dinner. Unless he beat her to it. πŸ˜‰
    When I first saw the photos it took me a while to notice anything besides his face – if that was the desired effect, it worked perfectly. He perfected a range of looks, smirks and ghost smiles that enable us to interpret his face any way we wish, yet tell us absolutely nothing about the man behind it. That’s truly a gift, and sometimes a curse for those on the receiving end. πŸ™‚

    • Hello you mad early-morning-phone-reader πŸ˜‰ (kidding – I’d be the same if I didn’t have a strongly disapproving SO to keep me in check :-D). I think it is a compliment to sitter AND photographer if you say the images uplifted you and made the chores a bit easier. I’d love it if anyone said that about me or my photos…
      You are right – a double-sided sword, the empty slate, open interpretation look. Imagining the preferred thoughts into his (pretty) head is all very well – but since we all strive for truth, it is definitely frustrating. Not frustrating enough to stop us from looking, but well… I do agree that Armitage is able to convey a variety of subtly different looks on his face – not that easy, btw. A lot of people have only *one* look on their photo faces. Derek Zoolander’s “blue steel” comes to mind *ggg*.
      As for the continuation of the story… yeah, it actually does go on. It’s already written up (couldn’t stop myself). But before dinner there is work. Hard work. And Sophya is equally flustered by the concentation on her task as on the distractingly attractive sitter. Really, it’s no fun shooting handsome men…

      • It was your analysis and the ficlet that made me smile. πŸ™‚ Although I admit the photos still hit me.
        Re continuing the story, how could you possibly resist it! πŸ˜‰

        • oooh – you have just uplifted *me*… I will be flying through my work this morning πŸ™‚ Thanks, hon!
          Yeah, hard to resist continuing nice fantasies, especially when they feature my own field of expertise and a character I can very easily identify with πŸ˜€ Probably also why I won’t be able to continue with it publicly *ggg*. TMI etc πŸ˜€

  15. Mysterious and flirty RA. Good phote but my favourite wasthe one outside where he had a flannel shirt, hope you oof that one day.

  16. This one immediately was my favorite because of that look in his eye. BTW I L O V E your RPF bits added to your posts and I know I’ve missed some in the past, have you posted them in story format somewhere??? Cause then I’ve been missing out in a HUGE way

    • Fanny–go to my story board– We have Guylty’s Ficlets there on the Blogroll!

    • Hey Fanny – yeah, the picture is hard to be immune to. I am not, even though I keep saying it is not my favourite.
      Thanks for the compliment re. ficlets. They started harmlessly enough, as a birthday pressie for a valued reader. I never thought that I’d be writing fics – and RPF at that *shudders*, but here I am, corrupted again πŸ˜€

      • I didn’t think about it much and I can also say which one I absolutely abhor; the one where his hand is placed on his chin, it completely looks contrived! And I have absolutely no qualms about RPF I find them fantastically liberating LOL

        • Hear, hear – the thoughtful-hand-on-chin-pose… in my notes already because I started my emergency *ooof* thinking I would discuss the image you are quoting. Much to say about posing, actually…
          RPF has its difficulties. Hence my warning which I should possibly add to previous posts – except I don’t really want them all to pop in WP readers again. Ah well…

  17. *ooof*! Right! πŸ˜€ Where are my special “hitting the window” pants?! πŸ˜‰
    As you may guess I love the above picture and your pretty, short and sweet ficlet.
    What a pleasant surprise ,Guylty πŸ™‚ Thank you :*

  18. Hmmm, a photo so very much to i.f.’s liking! πŸ™‚ Shallow me – I love this kind of pics of the man. I do not need a lot of background(story) and image formation and technical challenge – I am more than fine with his beautiful looks on their own. Yes, I am easy to satisfy – as long as there are beautiful eyes, curls and stubbles and a smile. And for me there is no doubt about the impression he wants to transfer, hehehe. Amusement and/or invitation. Dishy Dick. Mind dives into the gutter….
    First I thought Leslie Hassler is a man but was not really surprised to discover it is a (very attractive!) woman. This reminds me to the Victoria Wills shoot. He seems to be more at ease with a woman behind the camera and gifts her (us) with this laidback attitude that I find so endearing. Some other portraits I found on her homepage showed me she seems to be able to make her sitters comfortable and make them look very good and very relaxed.
    Ms Hassler has an interesting approach to organising a shooting according to her homepage. She offers meetings beforehand to get acquainted and to be able to catch the personality during the shoot (good girl!). Also she offers the sitters to either bring their own clothes or let her style them and let them pick from her *costumes* collection. Well, I don’t think Mr. A himself is especially fond on Mao jackets in (kind of) Campbell clan tartan and I can hardly imagine him to bring them from his personal wardrobe. But maybe the core of the story was the weaving industry on the Outer Hebrides or some other fancy topic like that. Would fit the plaid shirt as well.
    But of course I have also given this ooof some very serious thoughts, so what I really would like to say about this special picture – what came to my mind the very second I saw it – and what is absolutely most important to me, is:
    Hnnngggpfffttt – *asddfffkkklmmmmm*

    • ROFL, i.f. This picture really hit you hard, didn”t it? So eloquent in your response :-D.
      Joking aside – I completely agree with you on the subject of Armitage an women photographers. I have noticed it several times – Victoria Wills, an early publicity shoot for a mag (can’t find the images on RAnet anymore), a couple of shots from his early actor’s headshots, now this one. I very much approve of Hassler’s approach, and I think it is a very typically female one. (Certainly the approach I have when preparing for a portrait shoot, myself…) This is a topic I have noted in my research book every time that I discussed a photograph taken by a woman, and I will get to that topic, eventually.
      The clothes themselves – I think Serv has got it spot on in her analysis today. Appealing to a certain section of readers/society, but not necessarily descriptive of Armitage himself. Personally, I must state again that the clothes are always secondary to me. I just am too fashion illiterate to have strong opinion on them. I am always more interested in the pose, the facial expression, the facet of the personality that lurks behind the cotton, the denim and the tweed *ggg*. But I very much like your interpretation of this being a shoot intended for “The Hot Farmer”, fashion magazine to the Hebride sheep breeders *ggg*.
      Thanks for sharing your opinion! x

  19. […] Guylty has kindly provided rush discussions: the one from the December 2013 issue of UK Esquire and the one that is about to appear in New York Moves. Having looked at some of the interviews on the latter’s page, though, […]

  20. […] The head and shoulders image shows Armitage placed at a 30 degrees angle once again (cf. this ) with his pretty face turned towards the camera, inclining slightly forwards. The result is a […]

  21. […] I have noticed this before and I’ll put my neck out and say it again – I think Armitage responds particularly well to women photographers. Or is it the women photographers who are particularly responsive to the man? (Certainly the case for me *ahem*).I consciously observed this for the first time when the Victoria Wills shots came out during the Hobbit promo in December 2012. Then the Tracey Nearmy shots had us all enthralled. I briefly discussed a Sarah Dunn shot (or two???) in my post for the Armitage birthday in August 2013 LINK and then also *ooof*ed a number of shots by Leslie Hassler. […]

  22. […] clearly in her work in which her subjects appear less iconic and glossy but relaxed and life-like. ooof ooof […]

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